March 5-9 is National Sleep Awareness Week, if you didn’t know, and as we head toward a time change, national safety experts remind transportation operators and the public in general to focus on fatigue.
The National Transportation Safety Board has, for decades, investigated accidents and incidents involving every kind of transportation you can imagine “where fatigue was a causal or contributory factor.”
“While alcohol is often associated with impairment, operating a vehicle while fatigued can be just as deadly,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “As we move the clocks forward an hour this weekend, transportation operators need to plan for adequate sleep on Sunday night and every other night to safeguard the travelling public.”
In a news release from Washington, the safety experts said: “On Saturday, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) released its 2012 Sleep in America poll. For the first time, the NSF asked transportation professionals about their sleep habits. Many admit to struggling with sleep.
“According to NSF, nearly one-fourth of pilots and train operators admit that their performance is affected at least once a week by sleepiness. Moreover, one in five pilots acknowledge a serious error, and one in six train operators and truck drivers say that sleepiness has led to a ‘near miss.’
“The results of the NSF poll should serve as a literal ‘wake-up call,’ ” Hersman said. “Inadequate sleep puts lives at risk — we see this over and over in our accident investigations. Improving the quantity and quality of sleep can improve safety and ultimately save lives.”
Managing human fatigue has been on the NTSB’s priority list of transportation safety improvements since the list first was created in 1990.
“As a result of our accident investigations, the Safety Board has issued nearly 200 fatigue-related recommendations to address diverse areas including: hours of service requirements, scheduling policies, education and training, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, research, and vehicle technologies.”
The effort will continue, and rightly so
I live in the Village. I have three ways to get to work in downtown. #1-Hefner Expressway to I-44 to 1-40 & the new Crosstown. #2- Hefner, or as my great aunt Doty called it “108th” because she never got over that it was named Hefner, to Broadway Extension to 6th Street and #3- (a favorite when I feel like taking a scenic venture into work) – Pennsylvania through Nichols Hills, to Grand Blvd., through Nichols Hills Park, down the new Classen Curve area (changing daily!) then to Robert S. Kerr. Lately when I take route number 3 I’ve noticed that the City of Nichols Hills has installed electronic speed monitoring signs. Three that I’ve seen so far. First of all, I like the challenge of the sign monitoring my speed. It’s like it’s flashing ‘good girl for going the speed limit.’ And second I hope it does what I think it’s there to do, make people aware of their speed so they will slow down.
Nichols Hills is absolutely the most beautiful neighborhood in this city – in my opinion. It’s my “if I win the lottery I would buy a house there” neighborhood. The location is perfect. The houses are stunning. I like driving slow just to look at them. Oh and then there’s Christmastime. The problem Nichols Hills faces is Pennsylvania is a major artery for the metro area. It’s a busy street. When G.A. Nichols developed the neighborhood decades ago, it was the boondocks way out North. Who knew then that Pennsylvania would become this major street.
Speed limit signs are posted everywhere that clearly say 25 Miles Per Hour so I obey. Not that I’m just respectful of the law but because legend has it, the Nichols Hills police department doesn’t play. They will pull you over in seconds. So when I see someone speeding I think – where is the NHPD? One time a teenage girl was riding my car’s tail. I just kept my pace at the speed. She finally went around me when that’s not allowed and kind of made a motion at me. I couldn’t believe the NHPD wasn’t there to get her. Argh!
We had a different version of these signs in the Village. They were bigger and clearly temporary being on trailers. Neighbors had fun having their actual on-foot running clocked. It was the summertime and silly fun. The signs in Nichols Hills have a more permanent look to them. I have no idea if they are a permanent installation or not. I was going to call them to confirm for this blog post but then I thought – no, I don’t want to know.
Leslie (I haven’t had a speeding ticket in 30 years) A. Spears
The Families Anonymous “Today A Better Way” daily reading book for parents is a very good source for gaining understanding, peace and serenity … one page at a time.
The book is written by parents who have experienced the agony of having a child addicted to alcohol or other drugs.
No matter what you may be experiencing with your child — resentment, pain, mistakes you feel you have made, or anger — it will be addressed in this little book.
These are daily readings for parents just like you and me. What they share is very powerful, giving you hope, knowledge help in preparing you for this difficult journey. You will find yourself referring to it often and growing stronger day by day.
Go to www.familiesanonymous.org to order your copy. It may be the best $10 you ever spend. Go to the lower right side of the website and, under the heading “Shopping Cart,” click on “visit the shop.” When the page appears, click on the picture of the red book titled, “Today A Better Way.”
It is like a map to help you navigate the troubled waters you are experiencing.